AHA spent some money last year to fly Gary Glass to a meet the legislature event in Jackson, Mississippi.
I gotta admit there were about 15 home brewers standing on one side of the room. On the other were Gary Glass, our Raise Your Pints leadership, and the legislators.
They worked the room, we served beer, and shortly after we had a brand new home brew law.
I for one will never forget what the AHA did for me that night.
+1 to this.
Hell, + 1,000,000,000 to this. this is why the AHA exists and just because the last state in the US has passed some form of homebrew legalization doesn't mean that the work is done. you still have to apply for a permit in some states. In some states your not legally allowed to remove your homebrew from your home or share it with anyone outside your family.
well, until just this month there were some states where it wasn't technically legal to brew your own beer. now it is largely (not exclusively) because of the dues paid my the membership of the AHA.
I now live in one of those states (Kansas). As of right now, I cannot serve homebrew legally to my fiance
even though he helps brew every batch of it because he is not technically "family" yet. The AHA is helping the Kansas clubs' initiative to change that. That alone is worth more than the $38/year rate.
But who cares where the money goes? They do a great job furthering the hobby, helping to change laws in very stubborn states (cough, MS, cough), produce a stellar magazine, have tons of information on the website, fund research projects, put on a huge conference every year and maintain the best homebrew forum on the interwebs. What more can you ask for?
For some perspective, a lot of people pay $28 a year for BYO. They produce a magazine that recycles basically the same information every 3-5 years. At least Zymurgy is new content every issue. Nobody's up in arms over where that money goes. Why worry about the AHA?